Skills shortage driving up pay

24 June 2019


Average construction salaries in London have increased even higher than the rest of the UK

The average asking salary across the UK construction industry has risen 9% to £45,900 (€51,377), despite less vacancies being advertised.

This information comes from a review of the 12-month period following 30 May 2018 by recruitment firm Randstad Construction, Property and Engineering, which analysed around 6,800 permanently placed construction jobs in the country.

The company reported that, of the jobs listed, pay for site management has risen 3%, with average asking salaries rising from £47,100 (€52,722) a year to £48,500 (€54,211). Average salaries for site managers hit £37,600 (€42,035) per year with the most capable candidates being offered £48,500 (€54,211) a year in London, Randstad said.

Average salaries are reportedly even higher in London, averaging £53,400 (€59,670). In one particular case, the recruitment firm said that a senior site manager, a role now typically being paid £62,900 (€70,290) a year, secured a new job just outside of the UK capital on a salary of £78,000 (€87,163).

The largest increase in pay has been seen by site engineers. Average asking salaries have risen over 19%, from £37,100 to £44,300 – with the best site engineers based in London receiving salaries worth £68,700, Randstad claimed.

Maintenance engineers have seen salaries rise by 5%, from £31,800 (€35,540) to £33,500 (€37,440). Project managers have seen an average pay increase of 8%, from £59,500 (€66,478) to £64,200 (€71,729). Pay for senior project managers has also risen 7%, from £75,700 (€84,596) to £80,800 (€90,295).

Owen Goodhead, managing director of Randstad Construction, Property & Engineering, said, “The best senior site managers are earning close to an MP’s salary. While that’s good news for individuals, it’s potentially not such great news for the economy.

“Our research shows that construction workers from overseas are being put off coming to the UK and those that are here are thinking about moving elsewhere; we know that over a third of European construction workers who are already here have considered leaving the UK due to Brexit. This should be of huge concern to industry leaders and the government, especially in the capital where nearly one in three people working in London’s construction sector were born in the EU. The shrinking pool of EU talent is already driving up wages – that’s the power of supply and demand.”

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